Friday, July 7, 2017

Turtle Eggs and Sand Piles

When the Traver Creek Project was started, one of the most interesting parts was the turtle stipulation. In order to begin the creek renovation, a permit was submitted to the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality (MDEQ.) To satisfy the MDEQ permit of the project, turtles and other herptofauna were relocated from the two inline detention basins (AKA ponds on holes #12 and #17) on Traver Creek to the pond on #8. There are at least four large snapping turtles (Chelydra serpentina) and numerous painted turtles(Chrysemys picta) in Traver Creek and there was concern over what would happen to these turtles during and after the project was completed. To help them after the project, four sand piles were created for the turtles to use as nesting areas. 

Last month, a painted turtle nest was discovered at Argo Canoe Livery. The nest was located in a high traffic area and the probability of successful hatching was low, so Natural Area Preservation (NAP) was called in to move the nest to a better location.

Argo and NAP staff locate the eggs.

The eggs after excavation. It is very important to have the eggs remain in the same orientation for proper development.

The eggs were moved to one of the sand piles at Leslie Park and covered with a predator exclusion screen. This makes it difficult for raccoons and other animals to dig up and eat the eggs.

While NAP was working, they discovered a snapping turtle nest in the same pile. The covered that nest with a predator exclusion screen, as well.

NAP also puts signs out so that people know what the screens are for and to leave them where they are.

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